return icon

Japan’s retailers reaching out to Vietnam’s market

Japanese retailers are increasingly amplifying business activities in Vietnam as the country’s middle class expands amid market conditions in their home country slowing down.



FujiMart and AEON Mall are just some of the foreign retailers making waves in Vietnam


Last week, Matsumoto Kiyoshi Holdings Group announced its official foray into Vietnam’s market by inking a deal with Lotus Food Group. The two will launch the first Matsumoto Kiyoshi flagship store in Vietnam at the end of March 2020, followed by 10 to 15 other stores in the next three to five years. From there, a network of hundreds of stores is planned, meeting the growing demand for healthcare and beauty services of millions of Vietnamese people.

According to Hiroki Miyaoka, CEO of Matsumoto Kiyoshi, the group has the ambition to become Vietnam’s leading drugstore and cosmetics chain. Vietnam is Matsumoto Kiyoshi’s third overseas market behind Taiwan and Thailand. The move is part of a broader strategy to push the company’s overseas expansion given that the Japanese market witnessed a continued slowdown.

“We started to analyse data of Vietnamese consumers shopping at the MatsuKiyo chain in Japan in 2017. The number of Vietnamese consumers there has skyrocketed over 150 per cent over the past two years. This, coupled with Vietnam’s expanding affluent class and growing appetite for Japanese products, prompts us to enter the Vietnamese market,” he added.

In the first phase, Matsumoto Kiyoshi will focus on cosmetics and functional food products. Besides Japanese brands, the chain will also promote both local and foreign products that are popular among Vietnamese consumers.

Matsumoto Kiyoshi is following in the footsteps of Japanese global apparel retailer UNIQLO, which launched its first store in Ho Chi Minh City on December 6. The flagship store features over 3,000 square metres of sales area on three floors, with a global assortment of clothing for men, women, and children.

Tadashi Yanai, founder and chairman UNIQLO, is excited about the outlook of the Vietnamese market, which will become the largest goods consumption centre in Southeast Asia. “The opening of our first store in Vietnam represents a truly important step in the global development and expansion of our company,” he said.

On December 5, AEON Mall organised the grand opening ceremony for its fifth mall in Vietnam, AEON Mall Ha Dong. Covering a total area of 150,000 square metres, it is the largest mall of the Japanese company so far. Having opened its first commercial centre in Vietnam in 2015, AEON Mall now aims to increase its portfolio to 20 outlets nationwide.

Meanwhile, FujiMart Vietnam stores are operated by FujiMart Vietnam Retail - a joint venture between Japan’s Sumitomo Corporation and local real estate conglomerate BRG Group.

Vietnam offers tremendous opportunities for Japanese retailers. In the last five years, the Vietnamese retail sector recorded a compound annual growth rate of nearly 11 per cent. Total revenue is also expected to reach $180 billion by the end of the year, which would represent an increase of 26.6 per cent from 2018. With the influx of investments into the sector, it is poised to witness further growth in the near future, according to a recent report by advisory firm Deloitte.

However, Japanese retailers are facing tough competition not only from local retailers but also South Korean brands. South Korean conglomerate Lotte Mart has expanded its retail footprint in Vietnam with supermarket chains, department stores, e-commerce, and even duty-free stores. As the first South Korean retailer to enter Vietnam in 2008, it has so far opened 14 Lotte Mart supermarkets across Vietnam and one department store in Hanoi.

Likewise, South Korean retail giant E-mart recorded a healthy performance following its local debut in Vietnam in late 2015. With the aim of becoming the number-one hypermarket, E-mart is planning to open another outlet in Ho Chi Minh City next year.

Meanwhile, GS Retail, South Korea's biggest convenience store franchise, inked a deal with local SonKim Group to establish a joint venture running the convenience store brand GS25. The chain has so far opened 54 convenience stores in the country with a view to reach 2,500 GS25 outlets in the country within the next 10 years.

Most recently, Vietnam’s leading private conglemorate Vingroup announced that it will withdraw from its retail business to focus on its core strategy as an industrial and tech company. The group will merge its e-commerce site Adayroi with e-payment unit VinID, and wind up its electronics retailing business VinPro. The news comes two weeks after the merger of its supermarket chains and agribusiness with Masan Group.

Commenting on the Vingroup-Masan merger, Ben Gray, director of Capital Markets at Cushman & Wakefield, said, “This new platform is exceptional in its scale and reach in the market: 2,600 supermarkets and convenience stores in 50 cities and provinces, and 14 eco-farms. This now gives Masan Group, as part of the fast-moving consumer goods ecosystem, greater reach for its products, maximising the benefit from Vingroup’s investment into the retail space.”

Gray added that it is an excellent example of a strategic merger of two goliaths of the market. “Both have had clear lines of sight and a robust strategy to keep ahead of the structural changes in how consumers are maturing in the market, seeking greater convenience and quality, out their favourite branded products,” he said. VIR

Thanh Van

Japanese company buys stakes in Vietnamese gas firm

Japanese company buys stakes in Vietnamese gas firm

Saibu Gas of Japan reached an agreement to obtain a 21-percent stake in the PetroVietnam Low Pressure Gas Distribution JSC (PVGD) – a subsidiary of the Vietnam Oil and Gas Group (PetroVietnam).

About 1,000 Japanese lawmakers, businesspeople to visit Vietnam

About 1,000 Japanese lawmakers, businesspeople to visit Vietnam

Secretary General of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) of Japan Toshihiro Nikai said on December 24 that he will lead the largest-ever delegation to Vietnam for a friendly visit from January 11-14.


Experts call for Hanoi to become a 'creative city'

Cultural industry development is a new issue, and Hanoi does not have much experience promoting its potential advantages.

Apple jumps to second highest seller of smartphones in Vietnam for first time

iPhone accounted for 20.5 percent of market share in Vietnam in October 2022, according to GfK.

Credit concerns affecting Vietnamese stocks should ease soon: VinaCapital

The demand for new housing units in Vietnam is still strong and prices are still affordable, and so the prices of real estate stocks are likely to recover if and when the Government takes action to ease credit conditions.

Fuel prices soar, EVN faces huge losses

Due to the global rise of coal, oil and gas prices, EVN’s electricity production costs and purchase costs have increased sharply. The group may incur losses of up to VND64.8 trillion in 2022.

Banks gain big profits from forex trading

Most banks reported strong profit growth from the foreign exchange business in the first three quarters of this year thanks to the sharp appreciation of the US dollar, Q3 2022 financial statements showed.

National Sports Games to take part in December

The 2022 National Sports Games (NSG) will be held in Quang Ninh Province from December 9-21.

Vietnam lures over $25 billion in foreign investment in 11 months

Despite a decline of 18 per cent in newly registered capital to $11.5 billion, foreign capital disbursement saw a positive increase of 15 per cent to reach $19.68 billion in the January - November period.

India - new market for VN tourism

According to the World Tourism Organization, Indians spent $22.9 billion traveling abroad in 2019 and the figure was estimated to reach $42 billion by 2024, $45 billion by 2025 and about $91 billion by 2030.

Without career guidance, students drop out in first, second academic years

Without appropriate career guidance when choosing a major in a university, many students have studied the wrong majors so and dropped out after the first year because they chose an unsuitable study program.

Three factors keep Vietnam’s economy humming along

Infrastructure investment, trade environment and competitive wages are three factors that keep Vietnam’s economy humming along and its growth numbers positive, according to an article published on the

Hanoi Tourism Ao Dai Festival 2022 underway next week

The Hanoi Ao Dai Festival 2022 will take place around Hoan Kiem Lake pedestrian street from December 2-4.

Minister of Transport issues warning to managers of delayed projects

If transport projects do not proceed on schedule, managers need to prepare to resign, Transport Minister Nguyen Van Thang has said.

Vietnam promoting zero-emission economy

The Vietnamese Government is prioritizing climate change responses, green economy, sustainable development in its action programs. Therefore, businesses are advised to adapt to these concepts for their own growth.

VN businesses promote int’l fundraising amid domestic tightened policy

Many Vietnamese businesses have boosted foreign fundraising to cope with their capital shortage amid the country's tightened monetary policy.

Dried persimmon season in Da Lat attracts visitors

Many gardeners in Da Lat in Lam Dong Province hang ripe persimmons according to a Japanese drying method. In addition to selling the dried persimmons, they allow visitors to tour their persimmon gardens.